MARTIN ASTON is the author of the recently published book Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache: How Music Came Out (Backbeat Books), a 600-page compen-dium of popular music history from 1907 to the present, specifically the presence and influence of LGBT singers, songwriters, producers, and entertainers across this century. The book is organized chronologically and offers a brisk tour of popular music and its gay movers and shakers for each decade starting in the 1920s.
Aston’s previous book, Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD (2013), spotlighted the many bands produced under the 4AD label. He has written about popular music for over thirty years, contributing to The London Times, The Guardian, and most other major periodicals in the UK. Aston lives in south London.
This transatlantic interview was conducted by phone in May.